So I just posted a discussion about the one call that got you hooked on fighting fire. I will go into a little more detail on what call got me hooked.

It was in October of 2005 that the rural department that i was on got paged out for a mutual aid for a grass fire. It was a clear warm day but the wind was steadily up around 20 -25 mph with some gusts of up to 40 mph. It was perfect weather for a grass fire to get out of hand in a hurry. We took two brush trucks and one engine for water supply. For a reason that is still not clear to me the chief had put three rookies on the brush truck that I was on. When we got there it looked like they had it under control and just needed to be mopped up. The tree of us started to mop up taking turns driving and riding the jump seat. Well that didn't last long. A gust of wind took an ember across the county road and went into a hay field that had been cut and raked into windrows. By the time someone noticed the smoke it was too late. It took off across the field and a huge plume of smoke rose up as far as i could see, or so it seemed. Past the hay field was nothing but open range land for nearly a mile before it got to a creek. I was riding on the jump seat and fighting fire just past the hay field, we were following a tender and hitting the spots that they missed. All of a sudden the tender stopped and threw it into reverse before the guy who was driving noticed and the tender ran right into the front of the truck that I was on. Here I am sitting on the jump seat watching and not able to do a thing to prevent them from running into us. Well needless to say the bigger truck won. We were able to limp back to the staging area but the truck was not going to be able to fight any more fire. Those of us on that brush truck didn't get to fight any more fire that day but it was enough to get me hooked.

That fire was not the best for our department, we had a wrecked truck and two injured firefighters. The two injuries were not from the wreck. One guy was running the engine when the fire came back around towards him and the truck. He tried to run the pump and fight fire all by himself. He ended up jumping from the walkway to the ground and messed up some discs in his back. The other injury happened when the brush truck that a guy was riding on drove into an irrigation ditch in the smoke. He wasn't wearing the seat belt and hit the headache rack and ended up cracking a vertebrae. So that was the call that hooked me. Oh the fun.

By the time all was said and done there were 11 different departments and the fire burned just over 1500 acres in about 6 hours. Gotta love the wind whipped grass fires.

Well that's all for this post,

Gopher

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